Japan Travel

Japan (Tokyo) Week 1

So, wow. We’re in Tokyo. How lucky can we be?

On our way to Toyko

We knew as soon as we got our airplane food, we knew we were going to be in love. I mean, look at this cute little bento!Airplane Bento

Kevin holding his first Japanese yenIMG_1438

Too bad for him, bills are NOT common here, so he needed to get himself the world’s cutest change purse to keep himself organized ūüôāIMG_1572On a budget, we’ve been frequenting the grocery store regularly…these were SAMPLES…I mean, right?! TOKYO.MDG_1668

We did the whole Halloween thing! Turns out, Halloween hasn’t really been celebrated except during the last 10 years or so…This is our (soon to be!) new Japanese teacher ūüôā

P.S. Lamest¬†costume ever award goes to BOTH of us – 2 hours before the party I purchased saran wrap and balloons to be (as seen below) the world’s most awkward Jelly Belly, and Kevin literally put on my pants and called that his costume. Yup. My husband fits in my pants. No I’m not happy about it.

P.P.S. Turns out Kevin isn’t in any of the photos before my camera died – but I can assure you, he was there, drinking and eating as much of the¬†“all you can eat/drink party” part as humanely possible¬†and having a merry time talking with his Japanese brethren…


Kevin has found his new life’s passion: Pokemon! Gotta catch ’em all (or so he tells me :))IMG_1624

We’ve done a LOT of walking. The metro/subway lines are pretty darn expensive (about $3-7 one way), so between the two of us, that adds up. So walking it is!¬†IMG_1616

But, while walking – we often happen across places like this:IMG_1613

Or see super futuristic water taxi things, like this!IMG_1618

Or cute mini bonsais of every shape and size, like this!IMG_1619

Ridiculously cute ads  like these are everywhere.IMG_1625

We visited the Sensoji Temple, which was pretty awesome…IMG_1595IMG_1597

And got our fortune!IMG_1601

WHICH WAS BAD! Hilariously bad. Try to read it, if you can. Turns out (to sum it up) Our wishes will not come true, our marriage is not good, and we should NOT be traveling…WELP! ¬†Sorry fortune gods!IMG_1603

We’ve learned to love maccha tea (or at least I have – Kev’s been a die hard maccha fan forever or so he tells me)IMG_1580

We managed to get tickets to the Studio Ghibly museum (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and loads of other Miyazaki films) using an all Japanese prompted touch screen to print tickets. After 15+ minutes, here is Kevin: VICTORIOUS.IMG_1575

We tried some traditional Japanese sweets (ice cold noodles to be dipped in sugary sweet sauce), If texture issues present yourself while eating, this is probably not for you.Traditional Japanese Dessert

And went to our first Japanese tea house!First time in Japanese Tea Garden

And met new friends (picture shown: on the way to the Ninja Temple – Ninjadera Temple)Walking to Ninja Temple

Thousands of Japanese paper cranes for eternal good luck inside temple cavePaper Cranes at Money Washing Shrine

We visited some traditional Japanese Gardens (Kiyosumi Gardens)Kiyosumi GardenKiyosumi GardenCrane at Kiyosumi GardenKiyosumi Garden

We’ve tried lots of new food and drink and brushed up on our Japanese (aka: learned a few mini phrases to make us not seem like total jerks¬†:))Japanese Tourist Alert!

Went to a (few now!) conveyor belt sushi place!Conveyor Belt Sushi DateGenki Sushi

Walked around the crazy Shibuya streetsShibuya Nightlife

Used a bidet (too much info?) and learned that they even come equip with music as you pee! What will they think of next?!Fancy Airport Bathroom Buttons

At night, many neighborhood restaurants are illuminated like this…On a cool night, the warm glow and ramen scents swirling the air, it feels just like a movie. I feel pretty confident life doesn’t get much better.¬†IMG_1700

We’ve started to really have a taste of fall (and oh, how we’ve missed it!)IMG_1697

Shinjuku Gyoen (another Japanese garden)IMG_1691

We picniked here for a few hours and Kev read while I did some Sashiko (Japanese embroidery) that I learned from a meet up group I attended earlier in the week Рit was a pretty awesome day.IMG_1692

There have been awesome (and very, very funny) street performers all over the place – below you’ll see a group of about 15 Rock n’ Rollers in their fancy leather jackets (complete with slicked back hair and combs in their back pockets) who frequent the park and dance literally ALL DAY to old school Rock and Roll. Pretty entertaining to say the least.MVI_1460

Trinket heaven.

IMG_1545I got flair.IMG_1548

And there are VERY weird shops all over the place – like this “make your own doll” shop (see those eyes?!) where grown men in business suits and cute lovey couples alike shop “Build a Bear” style, but for dolls…IMG_1553

Kevin plays videogames in AkihabaraIMG_1561

More weirdness on the streetsIMG_1540

We even went to the Cup Noodles museum (which turned out to be awesome!) and even got to make our own Cup Noodles! (Kyle, get ready! Christmas is coming!) IMG_1663IMG_1636IMG_1640IMG_1650IMG_1653IMG_1660

Last week, I met up with these fine folks to go run around the Palace. After our run, we went to an onsen/sento (public bath house, complete with saunas, hot tubs and the works) and then went out to dinner. A perfect night.IMG_1665

Kevin imagines he’s making a Suntory commercial for Lost in TranslationIMG_1686

And yesterday, we went mushroom hunting (although we only found poisonous mushrooms). It was beyond great to get out of the city, but we couldn’t help but wish we were back in Portland with Alicia and Justin having our (what has come to be) annual fall mushroom hunting experience. IMG_1703IMG_1721IMG_1722

On our hike we saw rice being dried, which I had never seen in the “wild” before, and thought was pretty cool ūüôāIMG_1726IMG_1704IMG_1728


I’m sure there are things I’ve missed, but that’s a pretty solid take on the last week. One down, 3 more to go, Tokyo – we’re ready for you!

5 replies on “Japan (Tokyo) Week 1”

What an incredible adventure you guys have had. To be able have all this time to immerse yourselves in these cultures is a true grace. So happy both for you guys and your sharing with us.

Hey guys, so interesting to see your posts, I noticed the paper cranes in a temple. Have you read the story of “Sadoko and the Thousand Paper Cranes?” I’m thinking the paper cranes may be connected to this story of a girl who got cancer due to history of Hiroshima. Well, have fun you two and keep letting me live vicariously through your postings!

1. you are doing the peace sign thing in your pics! oh man! 2. please send me some good sushi now. yum! 3. the photo of the restaurant at night is phenomenal. 4. you both look so happy and relaxed in the tea house blue mug pic. i love it 5. parks and gardens= serene, hmmmmmm 436332. miss you guys. love tons across the oceans sending!

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